Having a Ball

Well that’s about it from me as I am heading to the site now. I will be onsite for the rest of the week and look forward to seeing you there!

Please don’t try to contact me via email as I will not have any connection. It’s greenwood working for real – not the facebook version 🙂

But in the meantime here are some photos to get you in the mood!


























Auction Lots

John Westcott has asked me to let you know that we will be accepting some items into the auction on the weekend. Don’t leave it too late – and its auctioneer’s discretion whether to accept or not. But I’ve never known him turn a lot down yet, though there is always a first time for everything.

Here is the current catalogue in pdf format

Auction Lots-1

Meanwhilst at the Museum



Meanwhile back at the Museum preparations for the Bodgers Ball are in full swing and the kettle is always on…..


In between painting your timber wagon………


Somehow this reminds me of the kits I used to build and paint back when I seemed to have time, except of course this kit is full size.


Just in the nick of time Julian and Guy have not only painted their timber carriage but also put it back together as well. Which is good because we need it to move some timber from the woodyard to the event field for the ball.



Over the weekend the museum will also be putting on some woody demonstrations. Don’t miss the traditional charcoal earthburn. The plan is to light it at around 10am on Friday morning and it will burn through the weekend, hopefully opening it on Sunday.


This wood is being prepared for the burn.


Unlike a metal kiln the wood itself provides the structure of burn, with just a straw (or bracken) and earth covering to prevent it burning away to ash, so carefull preparation of the wood and building of the structure is really important to the yield at the end of the burn.


In the Museum’s woodyard Ben’s steam engine will be powering the rack saw and using the timber crane.


The timber crane is worked entirely by hand and used to move large butts around the woodyard, onto the racksaw and on and off wagons.


At some point over the weekend Ben will be taking off his steam-head and firmly putting on his wheelwright hat as there is wheel which needs tyring. It’s a great event to watch, and even more fun if you get the chance to join in – as long as it goes well!

The Stool Competition

Are you up for a challenge? Perhaps as an individual or as a group. A great opportunity for Local Groups to participate. It’s quite a simple task, just make a stool.

The stool needs to be Weald and Downland Living Museum appropriate, specifically suitable for one of four Museum houses. These are:


Bayleaf Farmhouse, early 15th Century, a Wealden hall house for a relatively high status Yeoman farmer associated with ~100acres of land.


Pendean Farmhouse, early 17th Century, a more modest Yeoman farmers dwelling associated with 40acres of land.


Tindells cottage, early 18th Century, a husbandman’s cottage associated with 26acres of land


Poplar cottage, mid 15th Century, a landless labourer, possibly craftsman and/or commoner.

There’s no rush you can start when you like but the stool needs to be completed by 13:00 on Sunday. Plenty of time to visit the four houses and get a feel for them, the people who built and lived in them and their furniture.

Here’s an example of handmade furniture in Tindells, made by the site carpenter Roger Champion.


We’ll supply a pile of suitable wood, both green and seasoned which you can select yourself. No particular start time but they need to be completed by 13.00 on Sunday. A member of the Museum staff will judge them and select a winner(s). A cash prize will be available.

Auction lots

The Auction  returns this year – by popular demand – and will take place at 11:30 on Sunday with viewing of lots commencing at 10:30

The auction is a lot of fun (pun intended) so come and have a look if you’ve not been to one before. You’re bound to spot a bargain and walk away with some really good tools you always needed 🙂

This year the auction office is being run by John Westcott who has supplied for the form

Bodgers Ball Auction 2018 Lot Entry Form

for entering your lots. As we are late getting the form out we will accept lots on the day, but subject to the auctioneers decision – so if you want to be sure your lot is in please fill in a form and email it to John.



Tickets to the Ball and pre-ball courses now on sale!

Tickets are now on sale for both the weekend Ball and the Pre-Ball courses.

You can find the courses and buy a ticket here:


You might need to get your skates on – as some courses are selling out already!

And if you want to stay the weekend, to take part in the Bodgers Ball you will need to buy a ticket to the ball here:




The logo

It’s a cold, windy February Tuesday and pouring with rain. The wind is howling in the stove flue and I’m trying to organise tents and toilets for the Ball. But at least we have an amazing logo. It’s so good that I think we’ll get to use it a lot.

Bodgers Ball 2018 Logo

Huge thanks to Claudine Cecil – with help from her friend Ruth – for providing us with such a great logo!

Pre-Ball Courses will be bookable online from 28th February

Anyone wondering when the Pre-Ball Course bookings will go live online – the answer is apparently the 28th February.  Until then you can view the courses and this link will take you to the course webpage:


As soon as I know the date that the online booking for ball tickets goes live I will add it to this site – but as the more popular courses can sell out quickly take note of the Feb 28th date to book your course early.